This course explores animals within the context of the functional relationships that sociologists call “institutions.” We first examine the use of animals in laboratory science. We then examine the controversial transformation of animals into “livestock” and "meat." We also explore the perspectives of people committed to rejecting the construction and use of animals as food. Next, we focus on some of the roles of animals in human entertainment with particular attention to dog fighting and zoos. Finally, we investigate animal health and welfare through the lens of dilemmas in veterinary medicine and decisions in animal shelters.
About this Course
University of Colorado Boulder
CU-Boulder is a dynamic community of scholars and learners on one of the most spectacular college campuses in the country. As one of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), we have a proud tradition of academic excellence, with five Nobel laureates and more than 50 members of prestigious academic academies.
About the Animals and Society Specialization
Animals matter for human existence in so many ways that it is difficult to imagine the entity we call “society” without them. They figure heavily in our language, food, clothing, family structure, economy, education, entertainment, science, recreation, and other areas of social life. In this specialization, we will investigate a range of topics, many of them controversial. Although this is a sociology course, the field of human-animal studies is interdisciplinary. Many of the suggested readings come from fields outside of sociology, but this specialization emphasizes their sociological relevance throughout each course.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will I have access to the lectures and assignments?
Access to lectures and assignments depends on your type of enrollment. If you take a course in audit mode, you will be able to see most course materials for free. To access graded assignments and to earn a Certificate, you will need to purchase the Certificate experience, during or after your audit. If you don't see the audit option:
- The course may not offer an audit option. You can try a Free Trial instead, or apply for Financial Aid.
- The course may offer 'Full Course, No Certificate' instead. This option lets you see all course materials, submit required assessments, and get a final grade. This also means that you will not be able to purchase a Certificate experience.
What will I get if I subscribe to this Specialization?
When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.
Is financial aid available?
Yes, Coursera provides financial aid to learners who cannot afford the fee. Apply for it by clicking on the Financial Aid link beneath the "Enroll" button on the left. You'll be prompted to complete an application and will be notified if you are approved. You'll need to complete this step for each course in the Specialization, including the Capstone Project. Learn more.
Will I earn university credit for completing the Course?
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